One month later...

We have been here a month. Well, I and the dogs have been here a whole month. J and the cat are working on 11 days. But with more and more of our stuff unpacked, we are finally able to explore this new town around us. And what better timing, with Fourth of July just around the corner? I'll have a three day weekend. YIPEE! We might check out the FreedomFest2008 (hopefully it will have a unity vibe and not a redneck one!)

Speaking of happenings around town, here's an interesting article in our local lifestyle magazine, Tulsa People: What Tulsa Make$


Look Inside >>
July 2008



Suprisingly enough, salaries here are competitive on the National Average, yet the cost of living is so much lower. We have the lowest gas prices in the country right now, $3.76 (which is still insanely high, IMHO). Food for thought.

And speaking of food, we're thinking of joining a food co-op that supports local farmers. And we want to check out the local farmer's markets.

This week we are also going to check out the free band concerts in the park that allow dogs to attend: Starlight Concerts. We'll see what that's all about.

J signed up today at Gold's Gym and will start his spinning classes again, which he make him so happy. They had a killer deal and he loves going to the gym (I don't, which is why I have a treadmill and exercise ball here at home). Our goal is to start eating better and living a healthier lifestyle. We've done okay in the past and now we want to step it up. So shopping locally grown, organic food, exercising daily and getting out in our community are high on the agenda. We can do it!

Food in the house is a great sign...

What is it about a fully stocked fridge and pantry that make a house feel more like home?

It has been weeks and aside from the random take-out container or box of cereal, the kitchen has been pretty empty. But now, since we have found our dishes and pots and pans, we can finally starting cooking and eating at home. Thank goodness! The "where are we going to eat tonight?" was starting to get old. And you can only eat out so many times before you feel like all you want is a nice, homecooked meal.

We hope to get a grill soon, so we can enjoy cooking outside...it's too hot to heat up the kitchen stove. And Joseph is a grillmeister...so we have got to get one soon. First we have to decide...gas or charcoal? Oh, the decisions. We did get a lawnmower, so now our lawn is a nicely groomed as the neighbors on either side. Who knew we were so domestic? Joseph mows the lawn and I vacuum the inside. And do the laundry. All of this is "fun" right now with our new "toys". Hopefully the novelty won't wear off anytime soon.

Happy Weekend!

Ah, Sunday! Today is a glorious one. The weather is a nice 78 degrees and breezy so we have turned off the A/C and opened all of the windows and let the fresh air in! The furbabies are enjoying the backyard and we are slowly making our way through the boxes. We did find the wireless router, so I am happily blogging wirelessly now! YAY!

Yesterday we made the 2.5 hour drive southeast to visit J's mom and pop. It was a stormy day and we got quite a show of ominous clouds and lightening along our way. We sat and talked for hours, gave their inside dog a bath and fixed a yummy dinner of grilled steaks, red potatoes, green beans and salad. This is the first time we've both seen his folks since we were back here in Decemeber when his mom has ailing in the hospital. So it was nice to just have the time to sit and talk and visit. Hopefully we'll be getting together with them and J's Aunt next weekend for the Fourth of July. I have the day off from work, which makes it a nice three day weekend! I am curious to know how the 4th is celebrated here...already we see firework stands in the areas outside of Tulsa. I believe they are illegal here in the city, but beyond the city limits, I think they are legal. Hopefully no one in our neighborhood plans to fudge the rules.

We have furniture...

I haven't blogged for a while because we have been SO busy unpacking. Our furniture arrived on Wednesday and we have been unpacking ever since. It's so nice to finally have a place to sit besides our guest bed! J has been unpacking a little more each day while I am at work. Then I come home and organize it all. Our kitchen almost has a semblance of normalcy. Why is it that it never quite feels ready until the contact paper is lining the drawers? I swear! I must be a contact paper specialist by now! We still need to locate our untensils, but I have about 5 boxes labelled kitchen that are yet unpacked, so I am pretty sure they must be in one of them.

Pretty soon we'll be sleeping in our bedroom rather than the guest room that I have been living in for the past month! And the furbabies are happy to have other areas to lounge and rough-house. Oddly enough, today was the first day we had rain or thunder since J's arrival. I guess I got all of the rough stuff and now the season is passing us by...go figure! I am thankful though.

Friday is here and we're going to continuing opening boxes and putting things away and making our house a home. And we're finally going to head southeast for a visit with J's folks.

Catching up...

I haven't posted in a few days...since J arrived I have been super busy! He and Bella came in right on time on Thursday night. We were thrilled that there were no delays or travel snafus...especially given the weather in Texas, where he connected. He managed to miss it, which was awesome! As soon as we got home I had to get ready for bed, since Friday I had our big board meeting. I was there all day!

The meeting went really well and I finally met all of the "movers and shakers" of our organization. They were all super funny, intelligent and outgoing. And most of all they seemed to like me too, which is great! I was nervous coming into it, but at the end of the day, I was sure that they liked me and I liked them.

I got home and changed clothes and we went to dinner at IHOP. We got home and walked the dogs and met some of our neighbors. There are a lot of young families in this neighborhood. We got home and I was exhausted and fell into bed around 9 pm. J stayed up a while, I think he's still on California time.

Saturday, I had to be at work by 9 am for more meetings. J slept in and I came home around 1 pm. We headed to the Brookside neighborhood for lunch at Oliver's Twist, a little bistro. We had the black and blue fries, which are to die for! They are french fries smothered with blackened chicken and blue cheese. YUMMY! After that we headed to Sears. We were looking for a treadmill. We found a great deal on one with a built in TV...marked down significantly since it was the last one in stock! It will be delivered on Wednesday! YAY! No excuses not to use it, with all of its convenient features and it being right in our house!

Then we headed to the Home Decorator's store to buy a rug for the living room. After looking at each and EVERY rug they had in store (over 100) we settled on this one:



It's a little dark in this photo, but it has beige, red, gold, navy, tan, sage and teal green in it. Perfect for our decor. And the price was right since it was also the last one in stock, in this size. So we scored!

After a day full of shopping we had a little nosh at TGIFridays and headed home. I was pretty tired and again fell asleep around 9 pm. J stayed up surfing the net and watching SNL, which comes on at 10:30 pm here.

Today, we'll take it easy, do some laundry and vacuum and get ready for the work week all over again.

The day has finally arrived...

Three weeks to the day we loaded up the CRV and headed east to Tulsa. Now, finally we'll be all together in our new home. Baring any weather delays, J and Bella arrive tonight around 10:30 pm. Unfortunately, I will have to head straight to bed after picking him up from the airport because I need to get up early for work. I have all day meetings tomorrow and Saturday, so hopefully Sunday we'll get some quality time together. I know he must be exhuasted, so I hope he just gets to rest and relax for a few days.

Hump day!

This morning started with an emergency warning alarm on the radio for flash floods, high winds and severe thunder showers. The sky turned charcoal gray even though the sun had already risen. The dogs were going nuts and I was just trying to get ready for my day. Unsure of the road conditions, I left for work later than normal since the weather warning was supposed to be lifted by 7:30 am. Finally, at 7:45 am I headed to work and made it there in about 20 minutes. The rain was coming down so hard! I parked the car and got drenched in the 20 feet I had to walk from the car to the front door at work!


Work was busy as we are getting ready for one of the triannual international board meetings that is happening this Friday and Saturday. J called in a near panic. He had been contacted by the auto transport that our Accord was arriving TODAY! We were expecting it next Tuesday! So, after a few phone calls and a trip to the bank, I made plans to delay my lunch break so that I could meet the truck driver and receive the car. By then, the storms had passed and the sky was bright blue and polka-dotted with white, puffy clouds. It was about 85 and nice. Not too humid and not too hot. I left the Accord in the parking lot at the mall across the street (that was only space large enough for the 18-wheeler to park to deliver the car) and I will walk over there and drive it back here later tonight.



Tomorrow's weather is supposed to me more of the same...UGH! I just hope it doesn't delay J's flights. He's travelling with Bella in a carry-on, soft-sided carrier and she will probably be a little freaked out. He has been taking her in the bag in the car to prepare her somewhat for the trip. And the vet said that we can give her half of a baby Benadryl to mellow her out for the flights. So we shall see how that all goes. They are slated to arrive in Tulsa around 10:30 pm. I am SO excited! He finished packing up the relo-cubes (like PODS) today with the help of my brother. And the cleaning crew came to do a final once-over before we turn the keys back over to the landlords. We hope to get all of our security deposit back...but we shall see. We're pretty sure they are hurting for cash right now. So I won't be surprised if they find some reason to retain some of it. I cannot wait until we are no longer renters! Hopefully, that will be about this time next year! Until then, I just cannot wait to have Joseph and Bella here and then our furniture and belongings so we can finally settle in here in our new home in Tulsa.

Two more days...

and J will finally be here. I am positively giddy with excitement! He has been packing up our place in San Jose and cleaning...even with the help from friends and family it's been an overwhelming job! I just want him to get here and relax a little. I have a huge meeting on Friday and Saturday, so we won't really have good quality time together until Sunday. But that's okay...I just want him here. They say that home is where the heart is and I know that once he's finally here that I will feel like I am finally home.

Thunder + Lightening = ANOTHER sleepless night!

ARG! 1 am and the thunder and lightening rolled into town and roused me and the puggies from our slumber. Poor Regina was just beside herself. She does not like the thunder. I turned on the all weather channel to make sure it was just rain and it was, thank goodness. Oh and some flash flood warnings for the areas already saturated. But no tornado watches or worse, warnings. The Tulsa metro area has had 30"+ of rain since March. They are at all record highs and last night another 2-3" fell. Today there was 2" more. And the temperatures are bizarre. Yesterday it was 89 degrees and today it was 69! WHOA!

Anyway, I flipped to the "Light Classical" station and tried to get back to sleep. I pretty much woke up every hour between 2 am and 6 am. Between 5 am and 6 am I slept really hard. Needlesstosay, I was pooped. I made it through work today, but came home and got in my pjs immediately. They are forecasting more storms tonight...so I am heading to bed early, given that I most likely won't get to sleep the whole night through.

I think I am in love...

with Gordman's....a discount department store that feels sort of like Kohl's but is priced like Ross. LOVE IT! They only exist in the midwest. Who knew? I think they would do really well in CA for sure. My direct deposit will definitely be getting familiar with Gordman's. LOL!

This weekend was very relaxed...I did some chores of course, catching up on sleep and explored the town a bit. And in four days Joseph and Bella will be here at last.

A Superior Wife! LOL

69

As a 1930s wife, I am
Superior

Take the test!

Brookside Neighborhood

On Thursday evening, Ashley came for a visit. We headed down to 41st and Peoria, an area I've been wanting to check out since I first came to Tulsa back in May. Brookside...it's a little boho, a little trendy...a couple of blocks of funky boutiques and chic restaurants. We had dinner at this little french bistro called The Brasserie. We started with the jumbo prawn appetizer. She had the Salade Niçoise which was a seared ahi tuna salad and I have the Steak Salad. Both were tasty and perfect for the hot weather we've been having. We finished we dessert...crème brulée with vanilla beans for her and a fresh fruit tarte for me...delish!

We headed back to the house and chatted for hour! We finally hit the sheets at 1:30 am! And let me tell you, 6 am came really quick! Up and ready for work...thank goodness it was Friday. And I have officially finished my second full week of work. I am starting to get the hang of things, at least on a day to day basis. And J will be here by this time next week. And once our stuff gets here and we unpack it all and really move it, I hope it will finally start to feel like home around here.

A visitor from CA...

Ashley is coming to Tulsa tonight and we're going to hang out. Her job brought her to Wichita, Kansas, which is only 2 hours North by car, so she flew into Tulsa so we could hang out. I am thrilled. Today marks the two week mark since we left San Jose and while I have been super busy to be lonely, it will be so nice to see a familiar face. And to talk with someone who knows me.

More to come!

Pay Day! YAY!

It's only been two years since I experienced the thrill of direct deposit paydays, but how soon I've forgotton. At my new job we are paid every other Wednesday. NICE! It feels official now and it's starting to set in that I am on a new career track. I have been listening to the classical radio station in my office (I also leave it on at home for the puggies while I am at work, so in some weird way, I am "with them from work" by listening to the same music). Sometimes an operatic piece will come on (more often than not an overture or interlude, but not actual singing) and I immediately know the piece. The intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana, the overture to Der fliegender Hollander, etc. It's an immediate response. I hum along without even thinking about it. And then I realize...this is no longer what I do. I am now in an office, typing emails, researching requests and fielding phone calls. Opera singing...is that my hobby now? Weird. Will we be the ones dusting off old DVDs of our stage performances to break the ice as we host a dinner party? Will it be, "back when we were opera singers..." upon which the faces of our newly made friends here in Tulsa (hypothetical friends at this point) twist up into a little question mark? Here we are not opera singers (well, J is...at least to the crowd he met during Porgy and Bess here last season), but just everyday newlyweds, with a passion for pugs and wine and a funny accent. (Yes, here, our hint of Cali accent is the funny one!) Oh, and we just happen to know a little more about Mozart recitative and Verdi cadenzas than your average 30-something. Good for small talk as we wait in line at Starbucks, I guess. And for winning Jeopardy! Lay it on me, Alex Trebek!

Today, I saw the mark-up of my new business card. It listed my name (with J's last name now officially added after mine) with Director of Education in official looking tpeset listed below it. Weird. For many years it was my maiden name, followed by soprano. Something new. A lot of things new. And right now it feels a little raw. Like I want the newness, but it is still not 100%comfortble yet. Sort of like the new shoes I have been wearing for work. They are cute yet professional. I want to wear them. But they hurt. Just a little. And I have the beginnings of blisters on the places that they rub. So I bought some special silicone blister bandaids for my feet and blister blocking moleskin to line the ouchy places in my new shoes. And, the more I wear them, the less they hurt. I guess changing career tracks will be the same. Direct deposit surely helps to soothe the hurt of breaking in this new position a bit!

Today was gorgeous!

The day started with lots of fog and cool temps...nothing new for this SF girl! But by late morning the sun shone through and by the time I was off work (4:30 pm) it was amazing! 85 degrees...no wind, not too humid and barely a cloud in the sky. I took the long way home from work to check out some other areas near our neighborhood. Work was kind of crazy...lots of plate spinning today. And my brain is starting to hurt from all of the new information! Seriously! I can feel myself growing gray matter lately.

I am excited because I got my first pay stub today. So it feels real now. And also because J will be here in NINE days! YAY! Single digit countdown. I cannot wait for him (and Bella) to get here. Our furniture will arrive after he does, but I don't care. I just want him here. And now!

Stormy weather...keeps rainin' all the time!

Buckets and buckets of rain poured down today. All day. 4-5 inches. From 11 pm last night until 4 pm today. Finally, around 6 pm the blue skies and sunshine started to peek through. The one plus? It cooled off the city a lot. It was about 65-70 degress today. So I took advantage of it and walked Regina and Luigi around the neighborhood. In addition to the neighborhood birds (red cardinals no less) and squirrels, we have little bunnies! So cute! Regina went nuts when she saw one! I thought she was going literally going to stangle herself at the end of the leash. Sheesh! Now, everytime we pass by that yard, she'll be looking for that bunny. I wonder if we have any in our backyard...


So with all of this rain has come...ants! And little flies. EW! So I got some traps and set them out. Oh yeah and a leak in the kicthen ceiling where they just installed a new light fixture. So the carpenter is coming tomorrow sometime to fix it. UGH. It's not their fault. This is an old house and who can predict every crack and crevice in a 70 year old home? I guess it's just part of the charm. Hopefully the dogs won't go nuts when he comes to do his repair. They seem to be adjusting to being here, but they hate the thunder and lightening. And they are missing Joseph. And Bella. And our furniture. Apparently Bella feels otherwise...J says she is loving being the Queen Bee back in San Jose. Poor kitty. The puggies give her no room to be a diva. I hope she does okay on the flight from San Jose to Tulsa in a couple of weeks. She's not a good traveler at all. Totally high maintenance! Ms. Diva Kitty!

Lightening + Thunder = NO SLEEP!

Um yeah....it was 11 pm and I was ready to turn in. One last outside break for the puppies...I let them out in the back yard and noticed that it was pretty cool out. I stood out there with them, enjoying the reprise from the heat that has been choking Tulsa for the past week or so. All of the sudden...FLASH! And then huge, quarter-sized raindrops began to fall!






I immediately called the puppies inside, toweled them off and decided it was time to get to bed. I fell asleep for an two hours or so and then. FLASH -- CRASH! Lightening and thunder and MORE rain. Regina started barking. She's not used to this weather at all. I put on the TV to see if there was any severe weather alerts and thankfully, no, just regular ol' thunderstorms and some flash floods. And record breaking rain for Tulsa. In 100 years! Lovely.

Since I was up, I called J back in San Jose. He was just gotten off of work, so I was glad to be able to talk with him. I tuned to the Classical Music channel on the TV and the sound of the music and glow of the TV seemed to comfort the puppies and calm them down from reacting to every thunder crash. We all snuggled together and tried to fall asleep.

I managed to fall asleep, only to be re-awakened around 5 am. More loud thunder...felt like they were directly over our roof! I tried to rest since my alarm wasn't set to go off until 6 am. Alas, no luck. So I got up and fed the doggies and started my Monday morning. What a start. I pray that the ride to work is less eventful. And that this stormy weather subsides. I am having anxiety about the possibility of power outages. If the power were to go out, we'd loose A/C and then the puggies would be in grave danger. Especially if I were at work when it were to happen. So I will be bookmarking Public Service Company of Oklahoma's web site at work....just in case.

Oh, I will be so glad when this whole weather situation subsides. Native Tulsans are in awe of the weather, so I know this is not "normal". But then again, it seems that many folks in many cities are saying the same thing. So maybe this is the new "normal"? If so, I am going to lose a lot of sleep.

Sunny Sunday

The puggies woke me up at 7 am again today. Funny how they have completely adjusted their schedule in just a little over a week! I, on the other hand, am still working on becoming a "morning person". I think it will be easier once I have a coffee maker in the kitchen! That will arrive at the end of the month.... for now I am going "cold turkey" in the mornings and getting my fix at work or on the way.

So I stumbled out of bed, fed them and let them out in the yard to do their business and climbed back into bed for a couple of more hours. Today was chore day...laundry in the new front loading Frigidaire washer and dryer and vacuuming with my new Dyson vacuum. Who knew I'd ever be so excited to do household chores? EEK! Am I turning into a domestic goddess? Nah...I just like playing with my new toys!



I loaded the puggies into the car (they were so excited...what short memories they have of their 3 days in the car!) and took them to Petsmart for their spa day (nail clipping and ear cleaning). Then I brought them home and headed back out to explore the neighborhood a bit. I am SO excited that there is a Home Decorators Store here. I have loved the catalog for years and I guess two years ago they started opening actual stores. And lo and behold! There is one across the street from our new house! LOVE it! I know we'll be shopping there as we get settled into our new home, especially since it has more way more room than we've ever had before and we will need to get some new furniture, accessories and area rugs. It was so fun to see all of their stuff up close...very inspiring. Apparently they are now owned by Home Depot, so perhaps more of these stores will be popping up nationwide? Way, way better than IKEA or other mid-priced furniture stores.

SUPER Target!

Today was my first day off in over a month! So, even though the puggies woke me up at 7 am for their breakfast, I returned to bed and lounged around until noon! When I finally got up and got dressed, I decided to run some errands. When I came to Tulsa last month (for my in-person interview) the hotel was right next to a new shopping center which had a Super Target.

What is a Super Target, you wonder?

It's a fully stocked Target store that also has a full grocery store in it! Be still my beating heart. And it's only 10 minutes from our new house! It has a deli, produce, bakery, as well as aisles and aisled of food, just like any grocery store. I found lots of organic stuff under Target's Archer Farms label that is very similar to what we normally buy at Trader Joe's. So I am thrilled! In San Jose, I would shop at Trader Joe's and Target on Coleman at Taylor at least once a week. So now, I can do it all in one place! Woo hoo!

And there's other shopping in the area....Kohl's, DSW, etc. So now, in addition to The Promenade Mall across from our home, I have found the Woodland Mall. And I drove different streets and got a better feel for how Tulsa is layed out, which I must say is quite easy. Everything is on a grid and the streets run straight through, with the same name. Not like San Jose, where it took me nearly a decade to figure out that Alma turned into Santa Clara which turned into the Alameda! SHEESH!

With the day off, I am missing J terribly! I have been so busy with work, but today, it was just me and the doggies. So we played and napped and watched movies in bed (Luigi loves to watch TV!). I saw "No Reservations" with Catherine Zeta Jones, Aaron Eckert and Abigail Breslen. It was really cute! Tomorrow will probably be more of the same...except I will take the puppies in to get groomed. Fun! But it's way better than trying to wrestle them myself! I might head towards the river tomorrow and check it out.

Weathered the storm..

I fell asleep around 9:30 pm last night knowing that, most likely, I would be awakened by the impending storm. And true enough, right around midnight, thunder and lightening started. Regina didn't like that and started barking and I awoke. So I put on the TV, partially to drown out the thunder and distract the dogs and partially to see if the "Big One" was headed my way!




Because I am not familiar with the area, the counties, what is near and what is far, I was afraid that the tornadic winds were headed our way and I andthe puppies got into the storm closet. Yes we did. And immediately, I realized, it's too small in there. I mean, we fit, but had J and Bella been here too, it would have been a tight squeeze! And it was HOT! So, we need to work on that plan! I called Joseph and we chatted while he surfed the 'net to get a better grasp on what I was hearing on the local news. Turns out, the really bad stuff was way South of us! So, I climbed out of the closet and got back in bed with the puppies. I left the TV on for a while, since it really does seem to drown out the thunder and other sounds that set the dogs off. Finally, by 1 am I fell asleep again and didn't awake until the sound of my alarm clock.

I think next time, I will have a better idea of the situation....basically, I need to be alert and aware, but really, I am not in the direct line of tornados! We have trees that have been here at least 100 years and the neighborhood was built in the 50's. So I feel pretty confident, that although we'll get the hail and thunder and lightening and even high winds, I won't be holding on to Regina and Luigi like Dorothy did to Toto!

One week later...

I can hardly believe that one week ago we just began our trek out here. WHEW! It feels like a month has gone by, not just a week. I am looking forward to this weekend. It will be the first time in weeks that I will get to sleep in and just do NOTHING! I might venture out into the city and explore the sights. I suppose it all depends on tonight's storm. They are warning for severe thunder storms and potential "tornadic activity". I am hoping that means "nearby" but not actually in Tulsa. Say a prayer for me and the puggies...


Work is going well, everyone is super nice and they seem to be happy with what I am doing thus far. Tomorrow is a big meeting and I spent most of today preparing for it. So wish me luck....I'll be in it all day tomorrow. I snapped some photos of my office (and the beatiful flowers that my mom sent the first day) and will post them as soon as I transfer to my laptop.

Starting to feel a little easier...

At least I am feeling a little more at ease at work. I know my way around a little better and am remember the names of the staff. It's a lot to absorb, but I am definitely catching on...

As for Tulsa. The town is great, it's laid out well and easy to navigate. Lots of neat little neighborhoods. Lots of green....trees and gently rolling hills. I have yet to get down to the Riverwalk, but I hear that's lovely too. But's also extremely hot! H-O-T! We were 95 today plus humid. I actually like humidity (it's great for my allergies, voice and skin...not so great for my hair, but I have learned to tackle it with a myriad of products!) but sometimes the heat here can take your breath away. Well not like it did in Bangkok, but close!

Also, they are forecasting SEVERE weather for Thursday evening. All I can assume that means, is be ready for tornados. This makes me very scared. So all I can do is be prepared. I have been sleeping in clothes that will work out in public (like sweats and t-shirts) should I need to get up and out in a hurry. I am also keeping the dog's collars on them at night (which we normally don't do) so they have their ID's and I have something to grab onto if I need to corral them into our storm shelter, which is the hall closet. I have bottled water in there, emergency radio, flashlights, important papers in a waterproof envelope, some sundries and food and our wedding photos in a plastic bin. So I guess I am prepared. Right now, I have NO baseline for how severe is severe for here. I mean, when should I really be worried? All the locals tell me not to fret too much, but yeah, I am pretty sure I will. Send me your positive vibes for Thursday night when they predict the major stuff to hit.

My man's gone now...

J flew back to San Jose this morning. He's been amazing in this entire process, from finding our new rental home to planning the route, booking our U-Haul trailer, getting the proper hitch installed for our CRV to tow it, and reserving dog-friendly hotels for our drive out here. There's no way I would have even been able to do this with out him. And now he's gone...for three whole weeks! So, it's me and the little puggies, my laptop and cable TV connection. Oh yeah and my new phone and cellphone.

I know that I will be super busy with work and that these next three weeks will fly by, but I hate being apart from J for too long. I just pray that no major storms hit here while he's gone. He's definitely more calm than I am when it comes to the raging wind and rain. Luckily, my cousin, Ashley, has a business trip that brings her to Tulsa next week, so I'll have her company and we will explore some of the dining and shopping options that this city has to offer.

He'll be busy too...finishing up the semester's classes, packing up the rest of our house in San Jose, and working at the restaurant. For those of you reading this that live in the area, he'll be there through the 19th or so and he could certainly use your company and helpful hands in this final push.

Change on all levels...good and tough at the same time.

It's official, I am now a Sweet Adeline! Today was my first day of at the new job. I awoke early, eager to have plenty of time to shower and get ready for my first day without feeling rushed. We had breakfast at a nearby Panera and made the 12 minute commute to hermy office. We left with plenty of time to spare, since we all know that a 12 minute commute in California can mean literally 45-60 minutes on the road. Not so in Tulsa. We made it in 12 minutes! Once the office was open, I stepped inside and began my first day, which was full of welcome meetings and new hire instruction. Everyone was super nice and welcoming and I spent most of the day going over office policy and procedure, organizing my office and catching up on projects that are coming up quickly for my department. It felt familiar and strange at the same time. No stranger to office administration, I felt at ease learning the new computer and voicemail system. How to enter the codes for the payroll and the photocopier so that they were paid for out of the correct line-item was fine. But at the same time, it was weird to be in an office. To start work at 8:00 am. To record the outgoing voicemail with her new title. No longer a singer (by trade) or voice teacher, but an executive. Kind of weird. But kind of neat too. The day flew by and before I knew it, it was 4:30 pm and time to head home. A week ago, 4:30 pm was the just the middle of my work day. Now it was the end. Kind of nice.


My new office

The flowers and Waterford Vase that my mom sent to my office on her first day

Meanwhile, J had a jam packed day as well. The cable guy came and installed cable, our new phone and internet service (hence, our ability to resume blogging!). The Sear's delivery guy arrived with our new refridgerator (they forgot to put on the truck yesterday when they came to deliver our new laundry machines). Then he hit the bank to open our new accounts with Bank of America (alas, WaMu isn't in Oklahoma). Phone calls to the water and garbage services and more errands and it was time to pick me up from work.

We headed back towards home and had dinner at TGIFridays. Then we came home and crashed for about an hour. Refreshed from our nap, we headed to the market to stock the refrigerator. Grocery shopping in Tulsa will be a big change for us. For the past three years we have pretty much shopped exclusively at Trader Joe's for groceries and Target for sundries. Trader Joe's isn't in Oklahoma. So we headed to Target and got the items there that we normally buy and then headed to a Walmart Neighborhood Store which is actually a grocery store and not the big box stores we're used to associated with Walmart signs. The closest I can relate it to is a cross between Albertson's and Safeway. They carry national brands as well as their own. The prices were excellent, but when it comes to finding organic options, they are severly limited. We bought a lot of items that we normally buy, but brand names that we normally do not (since we've pretty much only bought Trader Joe's brand for the past few years). I was a bit overwhelmed by the whole process. "What do you mean they don't sell organic 1% fat milk?" "Don't they have low-sodium turkey?"

Change is tough and we've been though a lot in this past week. New city. New home. New job. New career. New hours. New appliances. New phone number. New weather. New food. Change is good, but all this newness can be overwhelming at times. Hopefully, in the coming days and weeks we'll settle down a bit. And perhaps, in due time, we'll find a store that carries organic 1% milk!

We made to Tulsa!

Whew! The last 3 days have been jam packed!

Saturday, May 31st we arrived in Tulsa around 2:30 pm after 6 hours on the road from Amarillo. We were happy to pull into the driveway of our new home. Here is the photo of it from our property manager's website:

It has 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, so we will have a guest room (with a queen sized bed!) as well as our bedroom and an office/studio in addition to the main living areas. The house has been recently updated, including new appliances as well as refinished wood floors, new paint and the all important central air/heat.

We are very close to the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa which is 100% medical school. This is where J plans to transfer to complete his Bachelor of Science Degree. And just down the way we have a mall, called The Promenade as well as another one call Southroads Mall. So, L is a happy clam with all of the prospects of shopping! Saturday was hot and we were tired, but we managed to unload the trailer in record time, set-up the bed and unpack some boxes. J returned the trailer to U-Haul and L got the puppies settled into their new digs. They LOVE the big back yard! We fell into bed exhausted and relieved that we had made to Tulsa, all 1500 miles, with no complications or issues. Halleluja!

Sunday, we slept in, somewhat and Joseph ran off to Starbuck's to get us our "morning fix". The Sear's delivery man came and installed our new washer and dryer. Who knew we could be so excited about new appliances? I guess that means we're really adults now. No more quarters saved up to do 10 mega loads at the laundromat!

No sooner did the delivery man depart did the skies turn very dark and ominous. Within the hour we had thunder and then lightening. We had the radio on and all of the sudden that erie emergency warning sounded over the classical music station to which we had it tuned. As if cued by the radio warning a large thunder cloud clapped directly over our house and it released such a gush of rain and rush of wind it startled us. Through our big, picture window that looks out on the back yard it was like a scene from a movie.

The rain was gushing down as if it were being poured from dump truck sized buckets and the wind was whipping the trees so ferociously that they seemed to nearly double over and touch the ground with their upper limbs. According to the news, it was 70-80 mile an hour winds pummeling the city. The emergency sounds from the radio intensified and L panicked a bit and started crying. In Tulsa less than 24 hours, she thought her worst fear was coming true: a tornado that "never hits the city" was upon us.

After assembling clothing and dog supplies, extra water and preparing to bunker down in the interior most closet (supposedly the safest place in a home that doesn't have a storm cellar), the fury of the storm had passed. It lasted about 20 minutes total. Within hours, the skies had cleared and given way to bright blue with small, white puffy clouds. Apparently a similar episode had occured the day before, but since we didn't arrive in town until after 2 pm, all we saw were bright, clear skies. What weird weather!

After the storm, the streets in our neighborhood were littered with torn down tree limbs. One house had a tree fall directly on to the driveway, smashing the car that was parked there. Across the street, the tents that UO had erected for some sort of celebration were in a heap, piled up against a huge tree's trunk. Another tree had been completed ripped from the ground, roots and all! Many of our neighbors lost power (some were running generators), although we didn't at all (the lights flickered just briefly). The power was also out at the mall and on several major street intersections. We made our way to Target to stock up on batteries, flashlights, a hand-held radio and other emergency supplies. Joseph phoned a friend that he met while singing here last Spring and asked him if that was "normal". He assured us it was not and that this year, in general, the weather has been more severe than "normal". Welcome to Oklahoma!?!?

Later, in the evening, we ran some errands and drove around the neighborhood. Other than some big tree limbs piled on the curbs for pick-up, it was almost as if nothing had happened. Like there was some concious thought by each and every citizen of midtown Tulsa that they needed to trim their trees on Sunday. That was it. We even saw fireflies flitting about, which thrilled L. The dogs barked at them and then they were gone.